Zero Punctuation: Metroid Other M

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Aiddon:
If we want to have better narratives and deeper characters in gaming we as gamers need to learn to let go of control so someone can tell a story. Which, oddly enough, is something JAPAN is better at than the West is.

This comment really bothered the hell out of me, because it shows you've clearly not touched the point and click game genre. The west has produced many games with excellent story and characters including but not limited to Grim Fandango, The Dig, I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream, and even the Space Quest series. There are even games outside of this type with good characters like Psychonauts and Legacy of Kaine. You can make a character with plenty of flaws and have them not be annoying as hell.
Unfortunately in many JRPGs I've played the "flawed till the point of being so annoying I want to hurt them" characters are very common. Also, the surrounding stories were crap. I'm not saying there aren't JRPGs that excel in story telling, but there are plenty of western games that do just as well.

Is it just me or could the Escapist watermark stand to be moved up to one of the corners instead of being on the bottom and constantly in eye view?

lumenadducere:
But Team Ninja apparently couldn't be bothered to learn anything about the franchise or the character they were working with, and thus they slapped some stereotype onto Samus and then called it a day. Add on the shoddy voice acting and it just becomes a horrible thing to do to a character that was once the best female lead in a game.

This is going to hurt, but... Team Ninja had 0 input on the story. It was written by Yoshio Sakamoto of Nintendo... the same guy who has always written Samus.

Warachia:

Aiddon:

This entire debacle has actually made me wonder if the whole player-avatar idea was a good thing to begin with. Quite frankly EVERY silent player avatar (The Warden, Commander Shepard, the SMT heroes, the Dragon Quest heroes, Link, 90% of protagonists in WRPGs, etc) and even some voiced characters like Marcus Fenix or Master Chief are nothing more than Mary Sues. They're blocks we project our wish-fulfillment fantasies onto and who have NOTHING resembling discernible character flaws and because of that we seem to have been STARVED for actual three-dimensional characters with human flaws and insecurities.

We've turned into a bunch of spoiled brats who plug our ears and go "lalalalalala!" whenever negative emotions are brought up in a game's hero even if it is REQUIRED for the narrative and the character. This strikes me as players always wanting THEIR wishes while having no concern for the writers or creators. If we want to have better narratives and deeper characters in gaming we as gamers need to learn to let go of control so someone can tell a story. Which, oddly enough, is something JAPAN is better at than the West is.

It's fine having characters that are fully fleshed out, and in that regard, but is it so bad to have a character that we believe we're playing, where we can make our own choices and INTERACT with three-dimensional characters? The key word here being interact, that is why people like blank slates so much, but if you are going to make a game where the hero is a person with negative emotions and character flaws, don't make the character only character flaws, negative emotions, and nothing else. Seriously, there is not one good happy moment for Samus in other M, just depressing monologue, fight, monologue, fight, character death, and another monologue. The thing about humans is they tend to be more than just depressed 24/7.

Don't bother, I tried telling Aiddon the same thing and has apparently ignored me and seems to have ignored my previous wall of text pretty much saying the same thing you are.

"It's interactive, etc."

Monk Ed:

lumenadducere:
But Team Ninja apparently couldn't be bothered to learn anything about the franchise or the character they were working with, and thus they slapped some stereotype onto Samus and then called it a day. Add on the shoddy voice acting and it just becomes a horrible thing to do to a character that was once the best female lead in a game.

This is going to hurt, but... Team Ninja had 0 input on the story. It was written by Yoshio Sakamoto of Nintendo... the same guy who has always written Samus.

Wow, really? That...I mean...wha-

*head explodes*

That's incredibly disappointing. Now I'm curious as to what caused the shift.

The identity of the Assassin "Deleter" was actually told to you, just not directly. MB kills him after Samus leaves the room. If you've played the game you'll know what I'm talking about. the story can get bad at times, but I wasn't distracted by it. I was more concerned with the gameplay than the story and I've run into a few issues with it that it seems nobody bothers to mention. Also, everything that Yahtzee said has been said by someone else already.

I completed the game today, died around 8 times total, 80% collection rate. Deaths were due to the insta kill scenes, 1 death at the Ridley fight and 1 at the end due to poorly implemented forced first person fighting scene.

I actually really enjoyed the game on the whole and the good parts of the game make up for the bad. It's not perfect by any means though.

Another thing, the reason why the one character had to sacrifice himself in order to detach the part of the facility was because the only way to detach it was if the inside of the facility sustained enough internal damage. There was no handy dandy button on a wall somewhere that could have been pressed to detach it safely. The things inside the facility could NOT be defeated by any means that Samus had, she would have been killed.

rabidkanid:
The identity of the Assassin "Deleter" was actually told to you, just not directly. MB kills him after Samus leaves the room. If you've played the game you'll know what I'm talking about.

That was my favorite part of the plot, and I thought it was really well done. Initially I just assumed that it was KG, because he was the only one listed as missing and I had forgotten his true fate, (but that's what made him such an excellent red herring). Then I read the answer and reasoning on wikia and was like "Whoa, that makes so much sense!" I love mysteries where the answer is not handed to you, but you know it when you find it.

Nocturnal Gentleman:

Aiddon:
If we want to have better narratives and deeper characters in gaming we as gamers need to learn to let go of control so someone can tell a story. Which, oddly enough, is something JAPAN is better at than the West is.

This comment really bothered the hell out of me, because it shows you've clearly not touched the point and click game genre. The west has produced many games with excellent story and characters including but not limited to Grim Fandango, The Dig, I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream, and even the Space Quest series. There are even games outside of this type with good characters like Psychonauts and Legacy of Kaine. You can make a character with plenty of flaws and have them not be annoying as hell.
Unfortunately in many JRPGs I've played the "flawed till the point of being so annoying I want to hurt them" characters are very common. Also, the surrounding stories were crap. I'm not saying there aren't JRPGs that excel in story telling, but there are plenty of western games that do just as well.

Wholesomely agreed and it was the point Aiddon decided to ignore. The japanesse way of making somebody tridimensial lately is making them an angsty emotional train wreck. I don't know about you, but last time I checked, in the real world you avoid those types of people simply because they annoy you to no end with their ramblings. Like I said, if after 8 years you are still in utter emotional chaos, chances I have no intention of relating to you unless this is a Silent Hill game and you are giving me the ride of my life.

Also, this works in a JRPG simply because there, the narrative is the whole incentive, you NEED a strong narrative for it to work. An action shoter doesn't have that requirement, here it only makes you move your head in disgust at how 5 seconds ago you were blasting everything to high hell with finishers lack queen badassia only to have it stop, have her exposition and mope for 5 minutes while Adam bitches. A silent protagonist is not a bad thing by a longshot, and if the best you can come up with is the japanesse emo stereotype (because I've seen it enough to see it for what it is, lets stop acting like it had any real thought or depth put into it, 50 bucks say you are a Sasuke fan, or at least were till the series started getting... variable) chances it's how it should remain.

Finally, read the goddamn manga, there you have all the backstory Samus ever needed and it makes sense from an emotional, localization and temporal perspective and fits in quite nicely in the whole narrative. The story of Other M basically decided to jam the whole manga Samus growth story down your throat in a timeline where it doesn't make any sense and that's why its a wreck, she supposedly already went trough most of that when she was a teen.

Vhite:

Calibanbutcher:
Best review in a long time.
I literally laughed out loud.
Shame on me for saying that

This. A really good one. I almost stoped to be his fan.

Why?
And what does "stoped" mean?
Do you like Metroid Other M so much?
Are you really so much of a pansy that you can't take it when someone says that the game is bad, or why didn't you like it?

Monk Ed:

SirBryghtside:
I think we're all forgetting one major fact...

She talked just fine without words.

Take, for instance, this scene in Metroid Prime 3:

At 9:00, it shows Gandrayda's totally awesome death sequence.

And it ends with her turning into Samus.

Samus's expression, her body language - you can tell exactly what she is feeling. Making her speak was a bad move on every level.

I disagree. It's not like the only alternative to the overly chatty soliloquies of Other M is to just make Samus silent again. That's just going from one extreme to the other and back again. The Primes didn't characterize her at all beyond a very basic stock human/hero level; how many people wouldn't react the way she did to Gandrayda's demise?

To be a full character, Samus needs to speak when it makes sense for her to do so -- and what little she says should really say something about her. It's not even that hard to do, it's just that Sakamoto fudged it up by overwriting the dialogue and doing too much tell without enough show (namely, too much soliloquizing). By any standard, it was a poor narrative, so I don't think the choice of narrative style is to blame.

A few well-chosen, well-done lines have infinitely more power than either silence or soliloquy.

Yeah, I agree with you here... anyway, I may take this opportunity to give everyone a much better definition of my opinions with this shameless plug!

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/326.234561-SirBryghtside-Reviews-Metroid-Other-M

Calibanbutcher:

Vhite:

Calibanbutcher:
Best review in a long time.
I literally laughed out loud.
Shame on me for saying that

This. A really good one. I almost stoped to be his fan.

Why?
And what does "stoped" mean?
Do you like Metroid Other M so much?
Are you really so much of a pansy that you can't take it when someone says that the game is bad, or why didn't you like it?

Ehm... You misunderstood be. I almost stoped being his fan because there was such a good review in a long time.

Even with the Birdie thing, it didn't really make 100% senses to me until the explanation. After that, I was able to piece together situations in the story and understand completely what happened with the Birdie and how one of the team members were killed by it.

Even with the Birdie thing, it didn't really make 100% senses to me until the explanation. After that, I was able to piece together situations in the story and understand completely what happened with the Birdie and how one of the team members were killed by it.

rabidkanid:
Even with the Birdie thing, it didn't really make 100% senses to me until the explanation. After that, I was able to piece together situations in the story and understand completely what happened with the Birdie and how one of the team members were killed by it.

Wait, by birdie do you mean the Choogle?

image

I loved that thing! But Samus called it grotesque... *shakes fist*

se7ensenses:
Nintendo- making the same game over & over & over since 1985. The broken record of the gaming industry.

you forgot to add 'and still getting the most money'.
Speaking of repeats, isn't it just great how everyone suddenly jumped on the 'gimmick' bandwagon?

I am pleased to read that many among you are already brainwashed into thinking that yes, a soldier must only obey and kill. Well done, military videogaming! You've got your next batch of cannon fodder ready.

Team Ninja, I would like to congratulate you on killing one of the most iconic franchises in video games. It's only been around since, what, the 1980s, and you've managed to bring it all crashing down in one game.

And I would like to thank Mr. Croshaw for helping me decide not to buy this game. Instead, I'll just play Metroid Prime collection and forget that Other M even existed.

and just so you can get an idea of how painful the voice acting is:

SirBryghtside:

rabidkanid:
Even with the Birdie thing, it didn't really make 100% senses to me until the explanation. After that, I was able to piece together situations in the story and understand completely what happened with the Birdie and how one of the team members were killed by it.

Wait, by birdie do you mean the Choogle?

image

I loved that thing! But Samus called it grotesque... *shakes fist*

I searched on the internet and couldn't find anyting official that called it a Choogle. It's just known as "Little Birdie" or Ridley's Larva state. If you have an official website that you got the name from, I'd like to see it.

Ih8pkmn:
Team Ninja, I would like to congratulate you on killing one of the most iconic franchises in video games. It's only been around since, what, the 1980s, and you've managed to bring it all crashing down in one game.

And I would like to thank Mr. Croshaw for helping me decide not to buy this game. Instead, I'll just play Metroid Prime collection and forget that Other M even existed.

and just so you can get an idea of how painful the voice acting is:

1. The story was created by a guy in Nintendo and he was responsible for the bulk of the stories for the metroids as far as I understand it right now, Team Ninja/Tecmo only developed the fighting and actual gameplay mechanics. Also keep in mind that this was CO-developed by Nintendo and Team Ninja. But no, Team Ninja is the new thing in there so lets all blame them even though it was a team effort.

2. If you are going to dash away the whole series as being ruined by one game when there are many games to choose from in the back cataloge, then NOBODY should ever listen to any opinion you have about games because it's obviously flawed if you think that one game can ruin an entire series of games, that have ranged from bad to excellent in and of themselves, in one shot no matter what your opinion on the game itself is.

Also, so Metroid Prime: Hunters repetitive gameplay, repeating boss's, short levels and underwhelming premise didn't irk your ire so much as to "ruin" the whole franchise, but this one game that actually has, for the majority, very well thought out actual gameplay action sections with it's main major flaw being that Samus talks too much when before she really never said anything says more about you and your faulty opinions than anything actually negative about the game.

Monk Ed:

lumenadducere:
But Team Ninja apparently couldn't be bothered to learn anything about the franchise or the character they were working with, and thus they slapped some stereotype onto Samus and then called it a day. Add on the shoddy voice acting and it just becomes a horrible thing to do to a character that was once the best female lead in a game.

This is going to hurt, but... Team Ninja had 0 input on the story. It was written by Yoshio Sakamoto of Nintendo... the same guy who has always written Samus.

Except he hasn't. He was only the co-director with Gunpei Yokoi up until Super Metroid. After that the Prime Series took over, everyone else including the actual creators of samus left or died and then Sakamoto started to claim all their work as his own. Two people made samus, neither of which was Sakamoto. Sakamoto is just a skeevy pervert who's aping the work of others to inflate his ego.

SirBryghtside:

rabidkanid:
Even with the Birdie thing, it didn't really make 100% senses to me until the explanation. After that, I was able to piece together situations in the story and understand completely what happened with the Birdie and how one of the team members were killed by it.

Wait, by birdie do you mean the Choogle?

image

I loved that thing! But Samus called it grotesque... *shakes fist*

They call it Little Birdie in the game. Stop making things up, you're terrible.

LordNue:

SirBryghtside:

rabidkanid:
Even with the Birdie thing, it didn't really make 100% senses to me until the explanation. After that, I was able to piece together situations in the story and understand completely what happened with the Birdie and how one of the team members were killed by it.

Wait, by birdie do you mean the Choogle?

image

I loved that thing! But Samus called it grotesque... *shakes fist*

They call it Little Birdie in the game. Stop making things up, you're terrible.

OK, I'll explain that post.

I couldn't remember what it was called, but needed a picture for my review. So I typed 'baby ridley rabbit metroid'.

And it came up with the picture I wanted, and in the URL it had the word 'choogle'.

So I looked this up, and I found even better pictures of it.

The first sentence was me checking if he meant what I meant - I played the game a while ago, when it first came out, and can barely remember what the hell they called that thing. That .gif came up when I searched Choogle - I honestly thought that that was what it was called (and still do, even if it's just a fan nickname. Sounds better than birdie, anyway). Sure, it wasn't much in the way of discussion, but I didn't honestly care.

Stop trying to be condescending. You're terrible.

SirBryghtside:

LordNue:

SirBryghtside:

rabidkanid:
Even with the Birdie thing, it didn't really make 100% senses to me until the explanation. After that, I was able to piece together situations in the story and understand completely what happened with the Birdie and how one of the team members were killed by it.

Wait, by birdie do you mean the Choogle?

image

I loved that thing! But Samus called it grotesque... *shakes fist*

They call it Little Birdie in the game. Stop making things up, you're terrible.

OK, I'll explain that post.

I couldn't remember what it was called, but needed a picture for my review. So I typed 'baby ridley rabbit metroid'.

And it came up with the picture I wanted, and in the URL it had the word 'choogle'.

So I looked this up, and I found even better pictures of it.

The first sentence was me checking if he meant what I meant - I played the game a while ago, when it first came out, and can barely remember what the hell they called that thing. That .gif came up when I searched Choogle - I honestly thought that that was what it was called (and still do, even if it's just a fan nickname. Sounds better than birdie, anyway). Sure, it wasn't much in the way of discussion, but I didn't honestly care.

Stop trying to be condescending. You're terrible.

Honestly Choogle is a better name then Little Birdie, it actually sounds like a creature name. Little Birdie in it's self is stupid as hell. It goes from a furbie to a lizard to a ridley. What? I hate Other M so much.

Stop trying to excuse yourself. You're terrible.

LordNue:

SirBryghtside:

LordNue:

SirBryghtside:

rabidkanid:
Even with the Birdie thing, it didn't really make 100% senses to me until the explanation. After that, I was able to piece together situations in the story and understand completely what happened with the Birdie and how one of the team members were killed by it.

Wait, by birdie do you mean the Choogle?

image

I loved that thing! But Samus called it grotesque... *shakes fist*

They call it Little Birdie in the game. Stop making things up, you're terrible.

OK, I'll explain that post.

I couldn't remember what it was called, but needed a picture for my review. So I typed 'baby ridley rabbit metroid'.

And it came up with the picture I wanted, and in the URL it had the word 'choogle'.

So I looked this up, and I found even better pictures of it.

The first sentence was me checking if he meant what I meant - I played the game a while ago, when it first came out, and can barely remember what the hell they called that thing. That .gif came up when I searched Choogle - I honestly thought that that was what it was called (and still do, even if it's just a fan nickname. Sounds better than birdie, anyway). Sure, it wasn't much in the way of discussion, but I didn't honestly care.

Stop trying to be condescending. You're terrible.

Honestly Choogle is a better name then Little Birdie, it actually sounds like a creature name. Little Birdie in it's self is stupid as hell. It goes from a furbie to a lizard to a ridley. What? I hate Other M so much.

Stop trying to excuse yourself. You're terrible.

Stop telling me to stop trying to excuse myself.

You're terrible :P

SirBryghtside:

LordNue:

SirBryghtside:
OK, I'll explain that post.

I couldn't remember what it was called, but needed a picture for my review. So I typed 'baby ridley rabbit metroid'.

And it came up with the picture I wanted, and in the URL it had the word 'choogle'.

So I looked this up, and I found even better pictures of it.

The first sentence was me checking if he meant what I meant - I played the game a while ago, when it first came out, and can barely remember what the hell they called that thing. That .gif came up when I searched Choogle - I honestly thought that that was what it was called (and still do, even if it's just a fan nickname. Sounds better than birdie, anyway). Sure, it wasn't much in the way of discussion, but I didn't honestly care.

Stop trying to be condescending. You're terrible.

Honestly Choogle is a better name then Little Birdie, it actually sounds like a creature name. Little Birdie in it's self is stupid as hell. It goes from a furbie to a lizard to a ridley. What? I hate Other M so much.

Stop trying to excuse yourself. You're terrible.

Stop telling me to stop trying to excuse myself.

You're terrible :P

While I'm at it, how in the hell did

Stop telling me to stop because you're terrible.

For the seemingly innocent Choogle to turn out to be a baby Ridley was one of the better swerves in Other M, so I don't see what's so stupid about it. It's not like it doesn't make sci-fi sense for Ridley to go from a bird-thing to a dinosaur; birds and dinosaurs are related, and Ridley's life stages are a pretty good diagram of dinosaur-to-bird evolution in reverse.

LordNue:
Snip

When no one was looking, Lord No u took forty Choogles. He took 40 Choogles. That's as many as four tens.

And that's terrible.

VERY detailed post that pretty much picks apart why the story and characters are badly written.

Kinda interesting read, it's also hilarious how many fans try and defend the characterizations and plot holes and the guy pretty much rips them apart with logic.

Also lead me to this.

Fifteen stupid responses to criticism.

Bookmarked.

Flamma Man:
VERY detailed post that pretty much picks apart why the story and characters are badly written.

Kinda interesting read, it's also hilarious how many fans try and defend the characterizations and plot holes and the guy pretty much rips them apart with logic.

Also lead me to this.

Fifteen stupid responses to criticism.

Bookmarked.

Oh wow, talk about spot on. In all the crap about the depictions of Samus, I had completely forgotten or didn't notice all those other complaints.

It's true... Absolutely nothing that happens in Other M matters. It all would have played out the same without Samus. She didn't kill Ridley, she didn't kill MB, she didn't kill the Deleter, she didn't stop the ship, she didn't destroy the ship, she didn't save anyone... She actually accomplishes nothing at all -- not even slightly -- in her own game.

Addendum: The guy in that second link is a freakin' genius. Which is to say, I agree with him. Priceless: "...for anger is a pleasant sensation. To feel your bile rise and your blood boil, to feel a rush of fury - why, it's the pleasure of being alive, of feeling some actual emotion instead of the constant dull fuzz of the easily contented."

lumenadducere:

Monk Ed:

lumenadducere:
But Team Ninja apparently couldn't be bothered to learn anything about the franchise or the character they were working with, and thus they slapped some stereotype onto Samus and then called it a day. Add on the shoddy voice acting and it just becomes a horrible thing to do to a character that was once the best female lead in a game.

This is going to hurt, but... Team Ninja had 0 input on the story. It was written by Yoshio Sakamoto of Nintendo... the same guy who has always written Samus.

Wow, really? That...I mean...wha-

*head explodes*

That's incredibly disappointing. Now I'm curious as to what caused the shift.

No need to freak out; nothing ever shifted. Besides, is Metroid really known for great story? No, of course not, it's known for awesome gameplay, exploration, open-worlds, and worthwhile backtracking.

RestamSalucard:

LordNue:
Snip

When no one was looking, Lord No u took forty Choogles. He took 40 Choogles. That's as many as four tens.

And that's terrible.

Metroid other M's characterisation.

That's terrible.

Monk Ed:

This is going to hurt, but... Team Ninja had 0 input on the story. It was written by Yoshio Sakamoto of Nintendo... the same guy who has always written Samus.

Actually, not so much. The first Metroid game was more heavily influenced by Gunpei Yokoi, the second was entirely made by Yokoi, and the first two Prime games were more heavily influenced by Miyamoto, who was Yokoi's protege at Nintendo and wanted to ensure they matched his version of the series.

Monk Ed:

This is going to hurt, but... Team Ninja had 0 input on the story. It was written by Yoshio Sakamoto of Nintendo... the same guy who has always written Samus.

Actually, not so much. The first Metroid game was more heavily influenced by Gunpei Yokoi, the second was entirely made by Yokoi, and the first two Prime games were more heavily influenced by Miyamoto, who was Yokoi's protege at Nintendo and wanted to ensure they matched his version of the series.

The moment I see any game from or on Nintendo I just think, "Oh look, shigeru miyamoto just remembered an old idea he had for NES."

She has derived a char

BlueInkAlchemist:
So the best way to enjoy a game that's trying not to be an FPS is to play an FPS? Huh.

When was Samus established as having a "bold, independent spirit"? I don't remember that being mentioned at all in any of the games other than the fact that you, the player, are controlling her and she's completely alone. She blindly followed our orders even if it meant smacking into a wall repeatedly when our phones rang or falling into an acid pit when we mis-judged a jump she probably could have handled were she in control of her own body.

This sounds so much like so many other arguments against Other M I'm wondering if Yahtzee either got bored with the ZP enterprise now that his novel's out or has just been too busy to form salient points that he's cribbed notes from other sources. Not that I myself would ever do such a thing.

Funny? Yes. Accurate? No idea. I'm too poor to own a Wii. But I find myself kinda confused by all of the hatred. Maybe it's just me.

Samus Aran created her personality from her body movements and actions. She showed no sign of fear, yet this character is nothing like that Samus.

And yes, you could walk her into a wall or step into acid, but that doesn't mean you can't do it with a well developed character.

I don't know about you, but my game characters don't control themselves except in cut-scenes.

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